Publication and Design Services
The following information outlines a publication and design process which begins with a request form and centers around a project brief signed by each stakeholder. It is this signed project brief that signals and drives production. The final steps in the process are archiving and evaluation.
Please note that Strategic Communications requests a four-week window between the date of the request and the project due date.
Step 1: Project Request Form
Project Request Form is a fill-in-the-blank document. Please download, complete and return to the Office of Strategic Communications. Because projects often require significant preparation, Strategic Communications invites requestors to include us in unit planning discussions toward integrated deliverables.
Once a request form is submitted, Strategic Communications will schedule an initial meeting to address requestor, needs, audiences, goals, timelines and budgets can be addressed. At this meeting, expect questions such as:
- What is the purpose of the publication; who are the stakeholders; who is the primary point of contact?
- Who is the audience and what is the core message?
- What type of publication will best meet your needs? Poster, flyer, brochure, newsletter, web page?
- What are similar offices doing to communicate with their audiences?
- What kind of artwork and/or photographs are needed?
- Will the publication be part of a series?
- When do you need the job delivered?
- How many copies are needed?
- How will readers use the publication?
- How will other departments, programs or units use the publication?
- Do you need assistance writing for the publication, or will someone in your office write copy?
- How will the publication reach the audience? Self-mailed? Included with other materials?
- Where should the publication be delivered?
- Where and how will the publication be stored?
- What is the budget?
Other issues that may influence a project are priority, origin, size, writing and resources.
Step 2: Project Brief
After the initial meeting with the requestor, Strategic Communications will issue a project brief that addresses: production goals, scope, team, responsibilities, budget, schedules, payment arrangements, methods for exchanging source files (email, disk, FTP). This brief, signed by each stakeholder, serves as the measuring standard of the project and signals the beginning and end of production.
Step 3: Production
Draft and Design
Here the P&D services team references the deliverable goals in the brief, to find concepts or themes and translate them into manuscript or visual drafts. Currently, Strategic Communications employs student workers and freelance designers to complete projects. In some cases, freelance design charges are passed on to the requestor.
Review & Edit
As a requestor, expect three rounds of review with revisions moving from major to minor to final approval, respectively. Copy can be submitted by a requestor via email. Once received, Strategic Communications will edit it for clarity, consistent style, grammar and completeness. Some style elements are unique to our campus. Keeping in mind the purpose of your project, we will refer to our style guides and other category resources for precedents and appropriateness. Copy, if provided, is to be in the most complete form possible at the time of submission. Continuous copy and design changes will jeopardize the delivery date of the project.
Approval & Printing
Within a few days of submitting final files to the printer, a final proof is delivered. This proof is formatted just like the final product. It is your opportunity to check page sequence, look for flaws in images, type, and accuracy in the size and content of the photographs. Remember that each change after final proof approval caused by your request or error could jeopardize the production schedule and cause you to miss your deadline. Making changes at the proof stage is expensive, and will delay delivery. It is best to weight your changes to the earliest of the three scheduled requestor reviews. Strategic Communications serves as the liaison between the printer and requestor. If there is a question regarding your project, please contact Strategic Communications.
Step 4: Post Production
Delivery & Storage
When your job is printed and the ink has dried, your job is bound, trimmed, and delivered. Depending on the size and complexity of your job, the printer may be busy for anywhere from just a few days to several weeks. Whatever the case, we will keep you informed of its progress.
Think about where you will use your publications and the best storage place for them. After you request delivery of a specific amount to a specific location, we will have them delivered to you. Otherwise, they are delivered to Strategic Communications by default. Most printers follow the 10 percent rule, meaning that use of paper may cause a delivery of 10 percent more or 10 percent less than the original order. So, if you need an exact amount, please let us know!
Measure & Archive
Strategic Communications will maintain a paper file and electronic source file folder on our server for a period of two years. Shortly after delivery, Strategic Communications can also schedule a meeting with you to measure the strengths and weaknesses of the process and product. We need to communicate the good and the bad to each other as one way for us all to keep improving.